The United MileagePlus Shopping Portal is offering 10 miles per dollar today at Sears.com.
The same portal is offering a “back to school” shopping bonus for purchases made through August 12, 2015 at 11:59:59 pm ET as follows:
- 500 bonus miles for qualifying purchases of at least $125
- 1,750 bonus miles for qualifying purchases of at least $600; or
- 4,000 bonus miles for qualifying purchases of $1,500 or more
- Any credit card may be used for payment through this portal to earn miles
- Sears explicitly allows gift card purchases to count for earning miles
- The Discover It card is currently offering 5% cash back for Home Improvement and Department Store purchases. Sears counts as a Department Store.
NOTE: Some readers have been told by Discover that Sears.com will not count as a department store, whereas others have been told it will count. Based on past experience, I’ll assume that it will count, but there is some risk.
- The Discover It card is currently offering a Double Cash Back promotion for new cardholders (and existing cardholders who signed up before they stopped allowing it)
If you haven’t already maxed out the back to school offer and the Discover It 3rd quarter bonus, then you can combine all of these opportunities as follows (assuming you have $300 in real purchases to make at Sears):
- Log into the United MileagePlus portal and click through to Sears
- Buy a $300 e-gift card (or reload an existing gift card with $300). Pay with your Discover card which is enrolled in the 3rd quarter 5% cash back promotion.
- Wait for the gift card to be funded. You can speed things up by calling. Please see: Complete guide to Sears gift cards
- Return to the United MileagePlus portal and click through to Sears again
- Buy $300 worth of stuff and pay with your gift card
With the above procedure, your $300 purchase should earn:
- 3000 miles when you buy the Sears gift card
- $15 from Discover. If you are enrolled in the Double Cash Back offer, you will eventually get a total of $30
- 3000 miles when you use the Sears gift card to buy merchandise
- 1750 bonus miles from the back to school offer (note: the offer’s terms say that gift card purchases do not count, but in past experience as long as the portal offers rewards for the gift card purchase it will also count for bonuses like these)
Total: Up to $30 cash back (10%), plus up to 7750 miles (25.8 miles per dollar)
Miles vs. Cash Back
Note that the Discover Deals portal is currently offering 10% cash back for Sears. With the Discover Double Cash Back offer, that equates to 20% cash back. Personally, I’d take 20% cash back over 10X United miles any day. That said, for those who don’t have the Discover Double Cash Back offer or who prefer to earn miles, 10X United miles is a good deal.
Please see: The Complete guide to Sears gift cards